Will a 90 percent pay cut be enough to satisfy the public?

The Bell City Council has said they will forfeit their individual $96,000 annual salaries in exchange for just $8,000 per year, while the mayor and vice mayor say they’ll finish their terms without pay.

Bell’s City Manager, Assistant City Manager and Police Chief all resigned last week.

One councilmember’s salary stayed the same. Lorenzo Velez has been paid $673 a month since he was appointed to the council last summer and said he never knew his colleagues were making so much.

The announcement came at a Monday council meeting, in which Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez made an apology, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Since my first day as mayor, my priority has been to make Bell a city its residents can be proud to call home,” said Hernandez, who added he will not seek another stint as mayor. “I apologize that the council’s past decisions with regard to the indefensible administrative salaries have failed to meet that test.

But will it be enough?

This is a City Council as a whole that deceived the public for so long. That money is in the bank. Those tax dollars are gone.

It sounds like the public still wants more, as they should.

From the Times:

Ali Saleh, a member of the Bell Assn. to Stop The Abuse said Monday that the group welcomes the salary cut. But he added, “It’s not enough. The people don’t trust them anymore. They lost complete trust from the community, and for the better of the community, they should resign.”

The group also demands “a full disclosure of administrative salaries, and any retainers or project contracts provided by outside consultants, followed by a forensic audit by a neutral third party.”

Saleh threatened council members with a recall effort if they did not order a forensic audit of the city’s books and disclose administrative salaries as well as contracts awarded to outside consultants.